„The soloist’s soulful burn is in principle related to Erykah Badu’s early recordings.“
-Matti Komulainen (Jazzrytmit)
Maarja Aarma is a versatile young singer. She is one of the founders and leaders of Gretagrund, quartet MA and vocal ensemble Söörömöö. Her debut album Püsimatu hing with Gretagrund was released in October 2015. Her music in eight-member Gretagrund uses improvisation and structured arrangements combined with Estonian lyrics.
Maarja Aarma MA are an Estonian four-piece band formed in 2017. MA’s music is influenced by soul, neo-soul, vocal pop and Scandinavian jazz. Two of their songs “Don’t Throw This Heart Around” and “Hazy Day” qualified to International Songwriting Competition. In 2017, they made it to the semifinal and two years later to the final. Band’s debut album “Connected Through” was released in 2019. Their latest release EP “Queenland” (2022) is a beautifully soulful musical journey through different lessons in life.
In addition to singing, writing music and lyrics, she writes arrangements for vocal ensembles, choirs, and instrumental ensembles (23rd European Film Awards gala concert, Popkooripidu 2012–2014, ensemble Lenna & Estonian Voices tour 2017).
Her music studies started with classical piano studies in Tallinn School of Music (1997–2005). After secondary school, she studied pop-jazz singing in Tallinn Georg Ots Music College (2008–2011) and continued with jazz singing in the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (2011–2014). She has also studied jazz singing in Norway (Universitetet i Stavanger, 2012–2013) and the UK (North Glasgow College in 2011). She sang in the Estonian Televisioin Girls’ Choir for many years during her studies. In 2017, she won the best singer award at the Uno Naissoo composition and interpretation competition.